Rio 2016: Olympic boxing tournament hit by bribery charges

Senior illustrations within amateur boxing have warned numerous contests could be fixed at the Olympic Games in Rio amid widespread concern about corruption and financial negligence at the boasts world governing body

Senior illustrations within amateur boxing have warned many bouts, including those to decide awards, could be fixed at the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro amid widespread concern about corruption and fiscal negligence at the sports world governing body, the Guardian can reveal.

Horrified senior officials within the sport conceive a cabal of officials are able to use their dominance to manipulate the outline and the estimate arrangement to ensure particular boxers will win.

One senior figure said there was no doubt some of the judges and umpires in Rio will be infected. He alleged groupings of umpires get together before major championships to decide how to score particular bouts.

Almost every recent Olympics has peculiarity disagreement. Most infamously, at the 1988 Games in Seoul the home favourite Park Si-hun overpowered the American Roy Jones Jr in a light middleweight contest the judge of which becomes a byword for scandal.

The Romanian former International Boxing Association( AIBA) vice-president Rudel Obreja alleged manipulation of the judges describe at the 2008 Olympics in Beijing. This week he alleged to the Guardian that he was forced out of the governing body as a result.

Before the London 2012 Games, it was alleged by the BBC that Azerbaijan, which lent $10 m to AIBA to underwrite a professional boxing line that has not been refunded, had effectively bought medallions. A thorough AIBA investigation by senior officials spurned the allegations.

An AIBA spokesman this week told the Defender: Since June 2015, AIBA has undertaken major governance changes ensuring the long-term development of our play under the terms of our the enterprises and play collaborators and for the advantages of the AIBA worldwide community.

But the senior officials who have spoken to the Guardian, who wish to remain anonymous for panic of reprisals against them or boxers from their country, have said the alleged decay has become more sophisticated and more widespread since the London Games.

It is alleged corrupt officials, wish to refer to score contests in a specific channel for a variety of reasons, are said to have initially relied on hand or leader signals to manipulate adjudicators at the end of each round so they knew from which corner to select the winner. But after being challenged at a number of major championships they are said to have changed their arrangement , no longer relying on signals but meeting before major championships to decide on certain bouts.

This is all being done very quietly, said one senior source. Some bouts are so brutal blatant its obvious. It sickens me to my stomach.

A spokesman for AIBA said its mission was to ensure the organisation of fair and transparent competitors. He added: It is not such matters for AIBA to interfere with the decision made by the adjudicates under boasting rules.

AIBA said there were nearly 300 adjudicators rated three adept and above who were used at nobility challengers on a regular basis. It said its certification system ensured all reviewers and evaluates have the highest levels of officiating and are in an optimal situation to perform accordingly.

Sources alleged that at major championships the draw board was also being targeted as to which judges should officiate each bout.

AIBA says the stretch is controlled externally by Swiss Timing, their official scoring marriage. There is no suggestion of any evil by Swiss Timing.

In some championships, roots claimed that about half of the contests could be predetermined.

One boxing judge who was prepared to go on the record, Irelands Seamus Kelly, told the Guardian he had been asked to cheat at the Arab Games in Doha in 2011 by expressing who was acquiring during the fight.

He claimed a fellow judge had commended “theres gonna be” signals used under the brand-new, so-called 10 -9 scoring arrangement at the European Championships in Minsk in 2013.

Kelly emailed Dr CK Wu, the sometimes contentious AIBA president, in April 2015 to grow the alarm.

Dr Wu responded: AIBA will immediately analyse this case. We are zero accept for this kind of cheating judges. Kelly heard nothing further and speculates he has been sidelined.

It was mental misuse. I wasnt sleeping at all because of the space they made me feel. It introduced an X against my call. They were pushing me away, Kelly said.

People are afraid to speak out because if they are reviewers they will be sidelined and wont get to go to the Olympics or other championships. If they are officials, they fear their countrys boxers will be targeted.

AIBA said Kelly had been sent home from the teenager world championships in 2014 for displaying vigorous action towards one of his colleagues. Though he had since apologised, AIBA said due to the gravity of his actions and personal issues it was decided he was not fit to officiate.

Mr Kellys charges are baseless and detrimental to our athletic, the spokesman said. His mail to us over the past two years has been erratic, bordering on extortion at times, and once he understood he would not reintegrate into AIBA despite numerous emails, he has decided to launch false-hearted accusations against our organisation. Kelly feuds AIBAs version of events.

Another high-ranking source, who said he believed the manipulation was guided from the heart of the AIBA administration, claimed he witnessed ratings being controlled at major championships and says he is desperately worried about what is likely to happen at the Rio Olympics.

Judges who realise these affirms are said to have been pressured to stay silent, while others are concerned they will be overlooked for championships and the Olympics if they speak out.

AIBA reacted: Boxing is a sport which provokes a lot of joy and sometimes people tend to behave as love and not as boxing experts, which is prejudicial to the reputation of our athletic. As for any Olympic Games, the high expectations are very high and we can understand the importance of triumphing a medal.

However, our character is to ensure a fair and transparent competitor and that tens of thousands of witness and thousands of followers enjoy an amazing tournament with 13 large and undisputed gold medallists. We reiterate that, unless tangible proof is presented to us , not just report, we cannot further provide comments on these allegations.

The spokesman for the governing body lent: We will continue to use any intends, including action at law, to protect our boast and its R& J[ refereeing and estimate] parish whose integrity is perpetually put into question despite their commitment and expertise. The future of AIBA boxing is bright and the organisation will not be prevented by subjective convictions made by disappointment defendants which do not manifest the AIBA community as a whole.

Sources alleged ratings are being operated to reward countries prepared to pay to host AIBA championships.

The international governing body has been accused of haemorrhaging cash since consenting a $10 m loan from Azerbaijan to underwrite the expansion of WSB and AIBA Professional Boxing, a competition launched in 2014 to give professional boxers a pathway to qualify for Rio.

In a memo sent by ousted director general Ho Kim in June 2015 to AIBA executive committee members, investigated by the Guardian, he stresses its precarious financial situation and the rapidly expanding budget of Wus presidential bureau in Taipei.

He too alleges Wus failed 2013 campaign to became the IOC president was extended out of AIBA funds, a claim AIBA disclaims on behalf of itself and Wu.

Of the Azerbaijan loan, Kim called on the executive committee to properly understand what are Azerbaijans expectations as to the repayment of the loan or what other benefits are expected if the lend cannot be repaid.

The AIBA spokesman said it was in the process of repaying the Azerbaijan loan but that it could not go into detail because of confidentiality clauses.

In a series of articles on the website Fight News, the Bulgarian correspondent Ognian Georgiev last month made a series of detailed charges about apparently doubt officiating at the Olympic qualifiers in the Venezuelan state of Vargas and the route in which judges were allocated to particular bouts.

Another senior boxing official claimed to the Guardian: Simply because it payments so much better to flow a tournament, some countries are putting their hands out. You could perform it in that behavior look at Venezuela. Ogling at the evidence, you have to wonder.

The South American country ought to have paid around $450,000 to host the Olympic characterizing tournament from which four of their six boxers who competed is eligible for Rio.

Critics say countries who have hosted AIBA championships over recent years appear to have a correspondingly high amount of boxers who qualify for the Games.

The AIBA spokesman reacted: The emcee metropolitan of Vargas was selected by a bidding process and a emcee fee was paid as is usually the case for all sports events organisation across the world.

We do not want to comment on rumours, Wu told Georgiev. Nearly 60 equals took place during the course of its APB/ WSB Olympic qualification tournament and all participants including the boxers praised the quality and fairness of the event.

Terry Smith, a Welshman who sits on the AIBA executive committee and is the honorary life chairman of the referees and magistrates committee, held “hes not” heard any the complaints of malpractice.

I havent heard anyone speak like this. If its the event, the sooner person notifies the president, the better. He is in the position to do something about it, he told the Guardian. I care theyd commend a little internally. I would like them to challenge it where it takes region. It would be more helpful for us. You can be sitting right in the middle of something and not see it go on, Smith added.

These are the types of hearsays we are really dont crave with the Olympics coming up. With that numerous struggles going on there is bound to be one that grows controversial, the last thing you want to know is something like this throwing it into doubt.

Read more: www.theguardian.com

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